KEY MESSAGES of U.S. Ambassador H.E. Joseph Mussomeli are:
“One year later, in the face of this protracted and complex worldwide economic crises, we are all realizing that we are not going to get through these difficult times simply by conducting business as usual – a little tweak here and there is not going to fix it. And the risk of sounding undiplomatic, it has been impossible to maintain optimism when there has been no progress in opening and reforming the Slovenian economy, or improving bilateral economic relations.”
“ What I will say is that since I gave the first speech last November, there has been no progress on these issues – zero progress. In fact, Slovenia has slipped further on World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index for the second year in row, this time by 12 places to number 57 – Slovenia is discovering that maintaining the ystatus quo and standing still in this global economy means failing further and further behind. Only two other countries lost so many places: Egypt lost 13 and Jamaica lost 12 – and Egypt had revolution. Many of the central European economies such as Poland, Hungary and Czech Republic are ranked ahead of Slovenia as are Thailand, Sri Lanka and Mauritius.
What is clear to me is that despite plenty of lip service and nice-sounding public statements – and impressive analysis by many domestic economists – this country is not yet genuinely committed to opening up its economy to foreign investment.”
“A year ago, I urged Slovenia to open its doors for business and said the time was now to work seriously on solutions for Slovenia’s long-term growth and development. Now I say, let’s not let time run out. In Slovenia, as in America, too many a politician is fiddling like some modern day Nero, while our economic houses burn down all around us.”
“When I say this I want to be clear that I am not talking about any one political party. The current Slovenian government has tried to make some reforms, but has not garnered enough support. Consensus and cooperation are crucial for Slovenia’s future.”
Other guests, economists’ dr. Gonzalo Caprirolo, dr. Žiga Turk, dr. Dušan Mramor and dr. Peter Groznik, critically assessed the situation in Slovenia and called for immediate action. On number of occasions they expressed the need of grand coalition with full power in the next political mandate. Economist Dr. Dušan Mramor has pointed out that the right way out of the current situation lies in professionalism. ‘’We have cancer and we have to cure it!’’ He also stressed that Slovenia should ideally have a professional government from both political poles. Economist Dr. Peter Groznik also believes that the authorities of European countries are extremely inefficient: "They act as if things will settle for themselves, they await the end of the crisis." He summoned the authorities to recognize the reality and start working, not just talk.